Today I’m sharing with you a panel discussion on the topic: Do Accounting Firms need an office anymore? produced by the Accounting and Finance Show Hong Kong 2021. 

Our expert panellists were from Australia and the UK. We were all cloud-first, though we had different size teams, and different set-ups, be it in-office, remote or hybrid model. Of course, Covid impacted these models. As always I think it’s useful for us to hear different insights and experiences to help us on our own journey.

The panellists included:

Moderator: Kyelie Baxter, Founder, Managing Partner, IQ Accountants
Sarah Lawrance, Founder, Hot Toast
Will Farnell, Founder, Farnell Clarke
Heather Smith, Hype Girl for Accounting Apps

During the session we discuss:

  • How to ensure clients have an amazing experience no matter how we are working.
  • Benefits of a remote workforce vs hybrid model vs in-office model.
  • Issues related to where staff work.
  • The impact on culture, recruitment, even office dress codes.
  • Communication and working across different time zones – and I actually forgot to mention something I’ve leaned into which is ‘Asynchronous communication’ where the conversation is intermittent, rather than a live steady stream.
  • Suggestions around building culture while working remotely included morning check-ins and cute pet competitions.
  • Many dress codes are rooted in outdated ideologies. We can bring our true self and personality to work. Over Zoom, there is less opportunity to dress to impress. 
  • Your clients can be anywhere, your staff can be anywhere, you can be anywhere.
  • Able to hire based on skill rather than location.
  • Staff working in different time zones, extends the hours that can be worked, with work assigned and completed overnight.

The session initially starts with an introduction from Laura Pickard, Conference Manager at Terrapin, and she hands over to the Moderator: Kyelie Baxter, Founder, Managing Partner, IQ Accountants.

Terrapinn is a global events company promoting innovation and technology. I encourage you to google them and register for any upcoming events that may be of interest to you. As many are currently running virtually, you have the opportunity to attend their global events!

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